Ariel Detwiler grew up in a musically active suburb of Chicago. She performed with the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Orchestra along with many Honors groups in high school. She also had the privilege of performing with the Schaumburg Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2006. Her first band conducting experience was as the Concert Band Assistant in 2007, conducting one piece each on two concerts during her senior year, though she led the flute choir for three years as well.
Ariel holds a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance and German from DePauw University, where she studied with Professor Kara Stolle as well as Angela Bergmann in Freiburg, Germany, and a Masters in Music Performance from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, studying with William Ludwig. In 2010, Ariel was a winner of the DePauw Concerto Competition, performing one of her favorite pieces in the repertoire, Heitor Villa-Lobos' Ciranda Das Sete Notas for Bassoon and Strings. At DePauw, she conducted and performed regularly with both the University Orchestra and University Band on bassoon and contrabassoon as well as with the Flute Choir on piccolo, alto and bass flutes as well as the standard soprano flute. She also took lessons on each woodwind instrument with Anne Reynolds (flute), Randy Salman (Clarinet), Leonid Sirotkin (Oboe) and Scotty Stepp (Alto Saxophone) for two years to polish her woodwind doubling skills. In 2009, she toured to Austria with the DePauw University Chamber Orchestra for a short series of performances in Munich, Vienna and Salzburg. What with traveling quickly becoming a passion of hers, she ventured back to Germany to study German in the beautiful Black Forest of Freiburg am Breisgau. While there, Ariel took lessons with Angela Bergmann, bassoonist and contrabassoonist of the Southwest German Radio Orchestra.
While in school, she performed in two musicals on multiple instruments: Les Miserables on Flute and Piccolo, and Children of Eden on Oboe, English Horn, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, and Soprano Recorder. Some of her greatest interests are musicals and film music, which she hopes to do more of as she grows as a professional musician. Her collaborative duet Duo 231 recently performed her own arrangements of selections from Pride and Prejudice and Forrest Gump as well as popular works by Handel and Bach at a close friend's wedding.
In 2014, Ariel graduated from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with her Masters of Music degree in Bassoon Performance after a wonderful time studying, performing and learning about all things bassoon. She has performed on both Bassoon and Contrabassoon with the Festival, Symphony and University Orchestras, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, as well as numerous chamber ensembles and freelance groups. With an outside area in Wind Conducting, she studied under Associate Band Director Dr. Jeffrey Gershman. Her preliminary studies in instrumental conducting were completed at DePauw University with Professor Orcenith Smith and Dr. Craig Pare.
As a chamber musician, Ariel is a member of the Horn and Bassoon duet Duo 231, est. 2011 with Sam Crocker, for which they have commissioned seven original works. Additionally, Ariel enjoys arranging and composing for unique chamber groups, performing on all of the woodwind instruments, teaching lessons and tutoring students in aural theory, as well as taking artistic portraits for fellow musicians and artists. Ariel has performed with various groups in central and southern Indiana, such as the Holographic New Music Ensemble in Bloomington and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra.
As of May 2020, Ariel has completed her doctoral coursework at the University of Minnesota, studying with Minnesota Orchestra Contrabassoonist Norbert Nielubowski. She will be finishing her thesis, which is focused on the topic of online resources for band directors in a changing world. Ariel is Instructor of Bassoon at Dordt University (Iowa), Northwestern College of Iowa, Augsburg University, and North Central College in Minneapolis.
Her teaching philosophy is open to each individual way of performing on an instrument to get a unique sound, and her forms of teaching include private and group lessons and sectionals. She loves to have a wide range of ability in students. Ariel's passion is spreading the wealth of the bassoon (but also all types of music and instruments) with those who don't know much about the instrument, and she does this mainly by performing as much as possible and giving free demonstrations at local schools.
Ariel performs on a Puchner 5000 antique finish bassoon with a Heckel VCD2 bocal (bocal from Edmund Nielsen Woodwinds in Chicago). She makes and sells her own bassoon and contrabassoon reeds, usually with Rieger cane, Rieger and Fox reed tools, and a Jende specialty double-hollow reed knife.